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CFOZone Experts

Opinions and views from expert CFOZone members.

Tag >> Big Four
Jun 09

Audit fees rose 2 percent to $3.3 million: Report

Posted by Stephen Taub in Financial Executives InternationalcomplianceBig Fouraudit feesaccelerated filer

Stephen Taub

Publicly held companies paid on average $3.3 million in total audit fees for fiscal year 2010, an increase of two percent from the prior fiscal year, according to a new report from Financial Executives Research Foundation (FERF), the research affiliate of Financial Executives International.

The nearly 250 executives surveyed cited internal audit staff work, and changes in company operations as some of their primary reasons for the difference in fees.

Aug 27

Upscale California county scrapping Deloitte-installed SAP system

Posted by Going Concern in SAPERPDeloittebiztechBig FourBig 4auditorsauditingaudit feesaudit

Going Concern

Submitted by Caleb Newquist, republished from Going Concern, Accounting News for Accountants and CFOs.

Aug 12

Reining in the PCAOB

Posted by Going Concern in Securities and Exchange CommissionSarbanes-OxleyPublic Company Accounting Oversight BoardPCAOBCPAscomplianceBig FourBig 4auditorsauditingauditAccounting

Going Concern

Submitted by Caleb Newquist, republished from Going Concern, Accounting News for Accountants and CFOs.

The PCAOB has had a pretty good run of late. It all started with the SCOTUS handing them a loss that was really a win and the Board has, most recently, gotten ambitious with new risk assessment standards. What's more is the call of acting Chair Dan Goelzer to have the Board's enforcement inspections held publicly so audit firms can't get all mysterio about what they did and did not do to warrant said inspection.

May 06

Deloitte has top restatement rate

Posted by Stephen Taub in restatementsPricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG, Glass LewisErnst & YoungDeloitte & TouchecomplianceBig FourBig 4

Stephen Taub

If a company announces a restatement, chances are Deloitte & Touche is the auditor if it were a Big Four firm. At least that is the conclusion of a recent analysis of financial reporting issues conduct by Glass Lewis, the governance research firm.

It found that since 2007, more companies audited by D&T restated financial reports to correct errors than those examined by any other of the largest audit firm. D&T also had the highest restatement rate among Big Four firms in each of the last three years and through the first quarter of 2010.

Apr 07

Big companies, big auditors, sitting in a tree

Posted by Ron F in PwC, KPMG, Goldman SachsGeneral ElectricErnst & YoungDeloittecost cuttingCashBig FourBig 4auditorsauditingAccounting

Ron F

Hey, I got hold of some interesting data from Audit Analytics on the length of time that some US companies have had the same auditors.

The issue arises in connection with a CFO cover story on audit fees that I wrote about yesterday.

Mar 15

Which auditors have the highest error rate?

Posted by Stephen Taub in restatements, KPMG, Grant ThorntonErnst & YoungDeloitteBig Four

Stephen Taub


Ernst & Young is under fire for its role in Lehman’s bankruptcy filing. According to some press reports, it might even face liability for its audit.

Mar 09

There's no single best way to measure corporate performance

Posted by Ron F in GAAPFASBDeloittecompliancecash flowbuybacksBig FourAccounting

Ron F

This Bloomberg item on the best way to measure corporate performance, which is based on a white paper by Deloitte, seems a bit naïve to me. 

Yes, return on equity is easily gamed by leverage and stock buybacks. But return on assets is hardly immune to financial engineering. 

Feb 01

Accounting errors way down: good or bad news?

Posted by Stephen Taub in sox 404Sarbanes-Oxleyrestatementsmaterial weaknessfinancial statementscomplianceBig FourAccounting

Stephen Taub

Are companies making fewer accounting errors, or are executives and auditors failing to find and report them? This is the over-riding question Glass Lewis is asking in its newly issued analysis of restatements in 2009.

The governance research firm, which has been crunching this data for a number of years, found that last year, 75 companies filed 78 financial restatements to correct accounting errors. This was down 58 percent from 2008. The restatement rate literally halved to 2.5 percent in 2009 from 5 percent a year earlier.

Dec 09

Unleash the auditors?

Posted by Ron F in RegulationFASBBig FourAccounting

Ron F

The thing I've never really understood about this Supreme Court challenge to the constitutionality of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board is how the argument doesn't apply to the Financial Accounting Standards Board as well.

Oh, I'm sure a constitutional lawyer would be able to explain the fine points of the distinction to me. But the bottom line is that the PCAOB is a private board overseen by the SEC. And so is the FASB. Indeed, the SEC's oversight of the FASB was strengthened by the same law that created the PCAOB.

So what's the big deal here, guys? And why sever federal oversight of the PCAOB when some in Congress want to make the FASB less independent of the government?

Sep 04

Best places to start a career? The Big Four

Posted by MQuinn in PricewaterhouseCoopersErnst & YoungDeloittecareersBig FourAccounting


Right now would unquestionably be a lousy time to be coming out of college and having to look for a job. And if you're a grad looking to get hired by not just any place but one of the best places to start, you might be even more troubled by where you'd be looking: Big Four accounting firms.

Oh the horror for all the non-number crunchers out there.

Yes, according to BusinessWeek's rankings of the best career-launching companies, the pinnacle of first post-undergraduate jobs are: Deloitte, Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG, in that order.

Based on criteria of average pay, how much entry-level hiring a company does, three-year retention rate, diversity, signing bonuses, 401(k) matching, mentoring and internal promotion, you apparently can't beat the Big Four.

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